happiness v failure in network marketing mlmWhat is the meaning of failure? If a distributor only makes a few hundred dollars a month, does that mean they have “failed?” What would that make the distributor who doesn’t make any money from network marketing at all? Or the one who loses money?

It’s difficult, in a sense, to lose money as a network marketing distributor in today’s world. This is due to the policy changes in direct selling companies. Most network marketing companies offer a full refund (or at least a 90% refund) to distributors who have changed their minds and want to return their starter kits.

In addition to policy changes within the company, the majority of leading MLM companies offer earnings disclosures on their websites which disclose the level of earnings and average earnings of all active distributors. Some consultants join a direct selling company to simply become discount buyers of the company’s products. These sorts of independent business owners don’t actually make money with their distributorship since they aren’t pursuing the opportunity to begin with.

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MLMAttorney’s most requested video of the month: What Is the U.S. and International Trend in Recognizing the Validity of Personal Use by Distributors in
Pyramid Cases?

In short, is it legal to motivate distributors to buy products in order for them to qualify for the compensation plan rewards as opposed to purchasing product/services for their own personal use or for resale? This question greatly impacts direct selling companies and their owners/executives. Read the recent Burnlounge decision on our website.

In the last 10 years, distributor personal use, as a legitimate end-destination for product/service has been increasingly recognized by courts, legislatures and regulators. In 2013 and 2014, two European Union tribunals; now counting more than a dozen U.S. states have amended MLM statutes. In 2004, an FTC advisory opinion applauded efficiencies of

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Renovation of MLMLegal.com- Come Visit the New and Improved Website

MLMLegal.com is Upgraded: Easy-to-Use Navigation Bars, Stylized Images, Organized Landing Pages for Articles, Videos, & MLM Legal

Come visit the new and improved MLMLegal.com! This is the first major renovation of MLMLegal.com. MLMLegal.com’s new face is easy to navigate and full of valuable and educational content, pertinent to direct sellers. And Babener & Associates is working on updating more pages throughout 2016.

A new and easy-to-use navigation bar helps visitors easily find what they are looking for, whether it is the blog, articles, videos, MLM resources, conference pages, or one of the many other resources available on the website for network marketers.

The main homepage image was provided by expert MLM Attorney himself, Jeff Babener, while on a trip to Europe. These beautiful mountains provide the metaphor “Let Us Be Your Guide.” Let the Law Office of Babener and Associates, MLMLegal.com, guide clients through the sometimes difficult MLM industry and its legal climate. As experienced network marketing attorneys, who have been in the industry for over three decades, and who represent companies such as Melaleuca, Avon, Herbalife, NuSkin, USANA, Nerium, Excel, and Team National, our firm has the experience and credibility to help direct selling companies navigate the direct selling industry.

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Absolutely! Incentives increase sales. However, sales incentives go by many names and shapes and sizes. Obviously, the understood and expected incentives are bonuses and commissions. Since companies are trying to incentivize different types of behavior, the compensation plans of companies are often complex and multi-task to provide incentives for retail selling, preferred recurring customers, building wide, building deep, working with immediate downline and deep into a downline, time sensitive personal and group sales production, personal and group sales, longevity,

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The answer here is somewhat “tongue and cheek” and should be taken with a “grain of salt.” This question is often asked of people who are starting network marketing companies. The majority, if not all of them, respond as wanting to recruit MLM professionals to their companies. An industry observer once commented wryly that too often, “junkies” and “professionals” are merely flip sides of the same coin. Said the commentator, “A MLM junkie is someone who will raid your distributors and take them to another company, while a MLM prhttp://mlmattorney.com/Video-Junkie.htmlofessional is someone who leaves their current company, raids their distributors, and brings them to your company!” Therefore, it depends on which hat you are wearing that day – if you’re the company that benefits — as to whether these kinds of consultants are “professionals” or “MLM junkies.”

In all seriousness, the above comment too often has more than a kernel of truth.

Companies that pay people to bring recruits with them to the new company are not conducting good business strategy. They will often claim to bring thousands, only bring a few, and still get their money. Unfortunately, this happens time and again and it is not an ethical way to do business.

If you are interested in attending the Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company conference visit our conference page, view our speaker list, or get more details. All executives/owners of direct selling companies are welcome to attend. Call 800-231-2162 to register.

Our next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference takes place February 25 & 26, 2016 in Las Vegas. View our conference flyer and speaker list online. Participate in our Innovation Campaign for your chance to receive TWO FREE TICKETS to attend our next conference.

If you’re reading this blog post and the conference dates above have passed, check our website for the current conference dates.

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Will the stock market rise tomorrow? Who will win the Kentucky Derby? If one knew the answers these questions, he or she would be rich beyond imagination. How much one might earn in a compensation plan is subject to too many moving parts to make any sort of accurate prediction: the compensation plan itself, percentages paid on product, profit margins of product, personal sales, down line sales, the factors are endless. Two important resources are available that will give you a good place to start on this arithmetic: (1) leading companies post average earnings disclosure charts which indicate the average earnings for consultants at various levels and stages of their direct selling program; (2) many companies provide online earnings calculators which allow consultants to plug in their own assumptions on their personal and group sales and activity, which are then used to calculate the payout based on their expected sales performance. These aren’t fool-proof tools but they will give you realistic expectations on potential earned income.

It’s important to be honest with yourself as well. Very few consultants make it ‘big time’ in direct selling, and that is because sales is hard work, difficult work and many give up shortly after running through their warm market (friends and family). But if you’re the type that loves to sell to every person that you come across in your daily life then you may be a great candidate for a consultant who earns really high auxiliary income.

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One common question that we hear is in regards to event sales; such as fairs, kiosks, vending machines, and other alternative means of sales, am I authorized to sell my company’s products at such places and events?

Most companies would prohibit sales in flea markets, swap meets, vending machines, or garage sales. It is generally viewed that such locations dilute the value of the company’s products and opportunities. Companies typically prohibit sales in retail stores, but the purpose for this rule is to avoid the appearance of the company being in competition with the direct selling channel of its distributors, a model that is really based on person-to-person marketing.

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MLM Expert Attorney, Jeff Babener offers ten FTC vs. Vemma litigation bullet points.

MLM Expert Attorney, Jeff Babener offers ten FTC vs. Vemma litigation bullet points.

On August 17, 2015, the FTC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arizona, seeking a permanent injunction against Tempe-based Vemma International Holdings, Inc., a long-time direct selling marketer of health-related products. The FTC was successful in obtaining a temporary restraining order, which shut the company and froze its assets. Further proceedings for a hearing on a preliminary and permanent injunction and other relief were set to the future.

Such a scenario has been a common approach for the FTC. The most recent actions resulted in permanent injunctions against BurnLounge and Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. For a summary of the most significant federal actions during the past few decades, please see:

Herbalife: What Short Sellers Missed on the Way to the Press Conference…

Jeffrey Babener (2013)

The primary accusation against Vemma is that its program focused on recruitment rather than sale of product to the ultimate user, thus rendering the program a pyramid scheme and a deceptive practice under FTC legislation. In addition, the FTC has charged that Vemma is deceptive in its earnings representations.

FTC vs. Vemma Litigation Bullet Points:

  1. (a) This case affirms the BurnLounge standard requiring emphasis on sales to ultimate users, which includes nonparticipant retail customers and personal use in reasonable amounts. Primary motivation for distributor purchases should be destination to ultimate users and not to qualify in the plan for compensation.

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MLM Startup Conference

The next MLM Startup Conference takes place October 22 and 23, 2015 in Las Vegas.

With the costs of the compensation plan, attorney’s fees, software, hiring staff, recruiting consultants, creating/designing products, the list goes on… starting a direct selling company can be expensive and difficult! We understand how complex it is to tackle a MLM startup. That’s why we offer the Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference.

We offer MLM entrepreneurs a way to network with experts from all sectors of the direct selling industry: legal, recruiting, technology/software, compensation plans, funding, generate leads, website and back office, business model, and more – all in one place, for one affordable price ($195 for the first attendee, each additional is $150).

So, if you’re starting a MLM, network marketing, direct selling company, or just thinking about starting a MLM company, come join us at the MLM Startup Event/Seminar in Las Vegas! The Hosts are Business Consultant and MLM Legal Expert, Jeff Babener, and MLM Compensation Plan Consultant, Mike Sheffield.

Our next conference takes place October 22 & 23, 2015 in Las Vegas (who doesn’t want a good reason to go to Las Vegas?). We even offer the Innovation Campaign for those who are on an even tighter budget.

Visit our website, www.mlmlegal.com, or our conference page to learn more and to see the full line-up of speakers. Read testimonials and watch our invitation videos. Anyone who is starting or running a MLM, network marketing, direct selling, party plan company is welcome to attend.

Call us at 800-231-2162 to register.

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For this issue, it is best to look at two phases of MLM companies, start up and maturity.

Although many things can go wrong in a startup direct selling company, two factors are repeated with frequency for the failure to launch. The first factor is inability to recruit. This business is based on recruiting a successful sales force to market products. (Obviously, there are many important factors ranging from logistics to personnel to technology to quality control to distribution… and all these can go wrong as well.) It should be noted that the need for capital is in inverse proportion to the ability to recruit. A MLM company that can recruit is often positioned for fast growth and may even become a cash cow. If the company does not have that native ability, it needs sufficient capital to hire the talent to make it happen. And in the absence of the recruitment asset, a company should plan on a much longer trajectory to profitability.

And the recruitment challenge dovetails with the second major reason that companies fail at the onset: lack of adequate capital or funding. Many companies start the business without adequate capital to allow for a one or two year run to become profitable. In fact, many companies assume that they will be profitable within months or that they will not need capital for growth. The lack of buffer capital to survive the early unprofitable days of a company is a prescription for early failure.

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